This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
This document is extracted from the online DIY Audio Forums postings at: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/audio-sector/123003-commercial-gainclone-kit-buildinginstructions.html
This thread idea started here: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...69#post1500369 and is aimed to provide guidance in building a simple Gainclone amp. While I'll be using as an example a commercial kit, there is nothing wrong with wiring the circuit point to point, without using printed board. The basic kit contains printed board, 2 LM3875 chips, 8 resistors, 4 main filter capacitors and 16 diodes and is intended for dual mono application.
LM3875 Gainclone - Building Instructions
The boards have scoring lines separating amp and power supply sections, for now break them in half only, as it will simplify assembly.
The amp basic schematic shows only 4 resistors per channel. R1 is optional and its value can be anything between 200R and 1k (or so). I usually don't install that resistor at all, placing piece of wire in its place. Alternatively, if you need coupling capacitor to protect the amp from DC that may be produced by a source component, a small electrolytic cap can be installed here: 4.7uF or bigger.
LM3875 Gainclone - Building Instructions
Identifying resistor values should not be a problem, as there are 4pcs that are 22k, 2 resistors are always longer, those would be 680R and the other two are 220R. You can also use a meter to check them out: it's good idea to choose out of four 22k, two that are close in value and use them for feedback (in place of Rf) A resistor color band conversion table is attached.
LM3875 Gainclone - Building Instructions
The power supply section consists of 8 diodes per channel (we are discussing dual mono kit for now) and optional two small capacitors (10uF) which you may use, but they are not really required.
031 is preferrable. Page 5 . For bigger jobs 0. we can start soldering.Building Instructions Since we covered the content of the kit. it would be solder dispenser available from percyaudio. As to soldering gun. If I can recommend one tool that is really helpful. I also use Wonder Solder for some specific projects. It is especially useful when both hands are busy and you need to use mouth to feed the solder.com .LM3875 Gainclone . 0. but for a beginner this is not needed. I usually use Kester rosing core solder. a 40W would be maximum for such project and 25W more suitable.020 (SN63PB37). I have 3 Hakko stations that simplify task.
Building Instructions I start with resistors.LM3875 Gainclone . but not neccessary. a set of tweezers is useful in forming leads and placing the parts. Page 6 .
place the tip of the iron on the pad and component pin and slowly feed the solder until a nice joint is formed. so you can't go wrong When soldering.Building Instructions A close up.LM3875 Gainclone . Page 7 .
Building Instructions Trim the leads after.LM3875 Gainclone . Page 8 .
com/forums/showt. The capacitors are polarized and their orientation is critical. For Premium version of the kit. Each electrolytic has one pin longer and this should be installed in a pad marked with + on the board.. after connecting power to the amp. Also..diyaudio. only blue mask boards are available. When those caps are mounted the other way. please install now 4 jumpers between amp board and power supply board on pads marked V+. PG.and V-. Pin 1 and 4 on the chip are power pins and they connect to the planes in top layer. PG+. the golden stripe marks the negative side and it installs opposite the +. I use bare copper 18ga wire. That concludes the amp board.LM3875 Gainclone .425#post584425 If you are planning on dual mono power amp (separate transformer per channel) and simplified wiring. they will explode. Please make sure that corresponding connection pads have enough solder in top layer as well. Page 9 . please check this link (currently. Black Gates are optional): http://www.Building Instructions We do the chips and caps next.
Building Instructions The diodes are installed now and their orientation is critical as well.LM3875 Gainclone . Make sure that metal tab is on a side of a white stripe marking the footprint. Page 10 .
and I will explain it at later stages.aspx?q. The transformer primaries are not connected yet. All is needed now is to connect 2 transformers (one per channel) as per schematic posted here: http://www.LM3875 Gainclone .. OG to negative) and we have a working dual mono amplifier. but it's a good idea anyway.Building Instructions This concludes the assembly and we have two separate amp channels with separate bridge rectifiers. See this table for American Wire Gauge Table: http://cc.. IN for signal input) and output ( OUT to positive binding post.com/forums/attac.diyaudio.. I normally don't even twist them.. is one amp channel.msnscache. For speaker connections I use 19ga stranded wire. connect the input (SG for ground. Pictured below. I usually use 26ga solid core wire for input signal and I never found a need for shielded cable. And this is how one complete amp channel looks when wiring is done.amp=1210694958 .com/cache.b17&FORM=CVRE2 Page 11 .
Building Instructions These are some tools you may find useful for wire insulation stripping: Page 12 .LM3875 Gainclone .
and when things get hot. so I always stick with a single rectifier board when using one transformer. I will show a version with a potentiometer. The U channel is predrilled and components ready to install. For demonstration purpose. I will install all the boards inside 3 x 1. and without. you can always attach it to larger aluminum panel. but depending on wiring it may produce hum in some systems.5" U-channel.Building Instructions By stereo version I mean the use of a single transformer powering both channels.25" aluminum extrusion. this is enough to dissipate heat from the chips.LM3875 Gainclone . so stay tuned. Page 13 . For normal listening. You could still use two separate rectifiers boards. 1.
the hole locations can be wey accurate. The other two tools are used for deburring. Page 14 .LM3875 Gainclone . starting with a small hole and then increasing the size. Because of pilots.Building Instructions I like to use DeWalt pilot point drill bits.
d=6&part_id=32 and to me they sound better than more expensive types.com/forums/showt. I don't use the ground tab. As to binding posts.cardas.cardas.=11&part_id=83 When spade connectors are to be used.Building Instructions I use 6-32 screws to mount the chips.com/content. I prefer low mass ACBP S: http://www. Tapmatic fluid. With RCAs..cardas.9413#post69413 I mount RCAs and binding posts first. the wires are soldered directly to metal body.. Page 15 . and what you see is Cardas hardware.=10&part_id=53 Please note that isolation washers are used to separate connectors from a chassis..php?ar..diyaudio. For tapping. which requires 7/64 tap drill. For more info on tapping see those posts: http://www..com/content. I always use a cordless drill gun and presently.com/content.php?ar.php?ar... I use the cheapest RCAs: http://www..LM3875 Gainclone . Patented Binding Posts are my first choice (CPBP CRS): http://www.
There are two types of LM3875 chips: isolated package (LM3875TF) and non isolated Page 16 .LM3875 Gainclone .Building Instructions It's time to install amp boards now.
after half an hour realease the screw and this time tighten only moderately strong. the heatsink surface needs to be smooth and all burrs sanded out. Page 17 . one needs to apply heat transfer compound to improve heat dissipation from a chip to metal surface. Please note that in this particular assembly. only enough to fill the gaps. Thick aluminum washer is used to improve contact. Further stability is obtained by applying double sided adhesive pads. Don't use too much of that paste. Although pad is not required. which will secure caps against chassis wall. isolation pad is required when mounting on grounded metal surface. I use only isolated chips.Building Instructions package (LM3875T). I apply paste only to the chip. Also. the boards will be mounted only by attaching the chips.LM3875 Gainclone . With the second one. thighten pretty strongly.
Page 18 .LM3875 Gainclone .Building Instructions and that how it's all done.
LM3875 Gainclone .Building Instructions Here's wiring done for inputs and outputs. Most suitable value is either 25k or 50k (log taper. pin 1 & 5 are not being used in normal application (those are for loudness option) Page 19 . for the price they offer great value. a version with potentiometer. but won't hurt either Next. Available from percyaudio and partsconnexion. stereo). This is not critical. By proper internal layout we can minimize cables length. Picture below shows the connections. while they are not perfect. I've been using Noble pots for years.
Please note that so far the grounds are kept separately. I use SG (signal ground) on amp board as star ground for input signal. Those are the connections for one of the channels. Page 20 . The ground wire from RCA and from ground pin on the pot (pin4) connect to SG.LM3875 Gainclone . the other channel is done exactly same way.Building Instructions And here how it's implemented in the amp. from pin 3 it goes to IN on amp board. Signal wire from RCA goes to pin 2 on the pot.
so you don't see a proper metal chassis. where I'll show how to wire transformer and power supply.8mm (for 300VA unit). If I order custom transformers. Let’s start with a transformer. I prefer secondary at the core with wire diameter 1.Building Instructions This is my test setup.LM3875 Gainclone . I use Plitron 300VA. 2 x 22V AC in all my amps. Page 21 . It is is approx $100 for a single unit. Getting similar Avel transformer from Partsexpress will cost you $50/pc. I tested some amorphous core custom transformers and they sounded marginally better than standard core. Please note that this is for demonstration purpose only. both stereo and dual mono.
The screw hole size.Building Instructions If your transformer comes with a standard mounting hardware. is 1/4". I increase the hole to 3/8" size and install ancor nut with a matching screw.com Page 22 . that's what you use. You will also need power entry module and the two types I use most often are Q204 (on the left) and Q300.LM3875 Gainclone . Plitrons are epoxy filled and hardware is not included. in a bottom of a chassis. available from Home Depot. both available from digikey.
you can connect them either in parallel (to match 115V mains) or in series. In case of dual primaries. and may differ for other manufacturers. to match 230V mains as per attached diagram (courtesy of Plitron).LM3875 Gainclone . which is the start of the winding. Page 23 . The neutral wire from the mains connects to the transformer wire marked with dot. The wires are color coded.Building Instructions I will start with connecting transformer primaries.
The mechanical connection may be required for safety reasons (no soldering).LM3875 Gainclone . Page 24 .Building Instructions My primaries are connected in parallel (the power module permanently attached to wooden board) The Earth tab from power entry module is directly connected to metal part of the chassis. so check your local regulations.
With 300VA transformer and no soft start. In some instances even that blew occasionally so I normally use 5A SB fuses. don't forget about the fuse and use slow blow version. it doesn't matter which wire connects to which pad. A2) Page 25 .A1 or A2. as long as the pads are marked the same (A1. For 230V regions that would be half the fuse value.Building Instructions Of course.LM3875 Gainclone . at least 4A rating is required (with 115V mains). For a given pair of wires (same secondary). This is how secondaries connect.
Page 26 .Building Instructions There is a spot for a LED on rectifier board and I like the small Panasonic LEDs available from DigiKey (part# P612).LM3875 Gainclone . If you didn't make any mistake. 62K series resistor is required (R3 on rectifiers board. before connecting rectifier board to the amp board we need to test voltages first. So the transformer is connected. With those LEDs. the simple test would be observing if LED lights up properly. the long pin from the LED connect to square pad). but I will describe a more appropriate method tomorrow.
tiscali. For that purpose I use Variac (Variable Auto Transformer). Alternatively you may consider "common 100 watt lightbulb wired in series with the mains supply" as described on Nuuk's site: http://myweb. starting from 0V all way up to 120V and monitor current draw.. With a new circuit..AQ. voltages and components temperature.co.LM3875 Gainclone .uk/nuukspot/.html#gcfaq1 We check the voltage between V+ and PG+ Page 27 .Building Instructions It's time to power up the circuit and test voltages. it's a good idea to increase mains voltage slowly.
+/. Please note that voltages are much lower than expected beacuse of lack of smoothing caps.20V (positive will be lower because of LED) we are ready to connect amp boards.(black probe on PG) If we measure approx.and PG.Building Instructions And between V. If you have 10uF caps installed on rectifiers board both voltages would exceed 30V DC Page 28 .LM3875 Gainclone .
I specifically refer to it as power star ground.grounds from rectifier board connect here. in some setups hum problems were reported and presently I always use star (power) ground in all my amps.(ground) wires from rectifier board to each amp board. normally I use two wires for both PG+ and PG-. While you could simply run PG+ and PG. The center of that wire is my power star ground and both PG+ and PG.Building Instructions The important aspect about sharing a single transformer and common rectifiers per two amp channels is power star ground. In the picture below the connections are so short that I used single runs of wire. Page 29 . I simply achieve it by connecting output grounds (OG. Please note that power ground is also directly connected to the chassis. as signal wires from RCAs are not connect directly here. They connect through separate traces on PCB to OG (output ground) pads. on the opposite side of speaker wire connection) with a 14ga solid core copper wire.LM3875 Gainclone .
I get my high gauge copper wires from electrical cables available at Home Depot.com/forums/showt.Building Instructions More info on star and safety grounding was posted here: http://www.diyaudio.LM3875 Gainclone . Page 30 .92#post1509392 If you need to implement ground break circuit between amp's power ground and chassis. you may consider the use of thermisor (CL60) as per F series of amps from Pass Labs...
If the potentiometer is installed. Should that read SG (signal ground) pads. the offset will vary depending on volume setting. Peter? You are correct.gif The first thing we do before connecting any speakers to the amp is measuring the DC offset.(blue) from rectifier board to amp boards and this concludes the assembly. Signal star ground (on the board) connects with separate traces to OG pads. wires from RCAs connect to SG (signal ground) pads. They connect through separate traces on PCB to OG (output ground) pads. as signal wires from RCAs are not connect directly here. Quote: I specifically refer to it as power star ground. Before we connect the amp to the speakers we need to test it.LM3875 Gainclone .audiosector.com/images/lm3875_se_pcb. This particular amp (right channel) measures 32mV offset when volume is completely down (input shunted to ground). which are directly connected to the ground plane: http://www. This can be done directly at the binding posts with no load connected.Building Instructions We finish off by connecting power supply wires V+ (red) and V. Page 31 .
Building Instructions and 70mV when volume is at the maximum (15K combined input impedance of 50k pot and 22k input shunt resistor) This is rather average chip when comes to offset. When we switch the amp off and no speakers are connected. The offset will be also lower when low impedance output preamp is connected. Page 32 . and when load is connected (you may try it with 10R resistor across binding posts) the offset will stay low when turning the amp off. This is normal behaviour. and for selected ones the offset is usually at 50mV or less at max setting. we can observe that for a moment or two the offset jumps pretty high to 4V or so.LM3875 Gainclone .
the output voltage is approx 18V RMS with the input signal of 550mV. This translates into 40W output. At normal listening material and average levels though. The measurement is taken before amp starts clipping. During such test. the heatsinks are still fine.30. Page 33 .6V rails. At +/.LM3875 Gainclone . the heatsinks are way too small and the temperature rises substantially.Building Instructions We'll also measure the power into 8ohm using dummy load connected to the amp's output (4 x 30R. 50w resistors) and feeding the amp with 100Hz sine wave.
Building Instructions Page 34 .LM3875 Gainclone .
6V DC. So under full power they drop by 2V. the rails are at 32.LM3875 Gainclone .Building Instructions We can also notice that with volume turned down. Page 35 .
Building Instructions I do the same test for 4ohm load (8 resistors in parallel) and initially we can see 56W power output with rails going down even further to 29. Page 36 .LM3875 Gainclone .5V.
Building Instructions However. The frequency response is approx 4Hz-240kHz (-3dB) Page 37 . Those heatsinks are definitely not suitable for 4ohm loads under full power.LM3875 Gainclone . the power collapses down to 10W or so. as the heatsinks warm up (and it happens really fast).
Without any load connected. Page 38 .Building Instructions There is one other thing we can check tonight: lets disconnect one of the rails and see what happens with DC offset. we measure 31.LM3875 Gainclone . I disconnect the negative rail first.7V DC at the output.
Building Instructions Page 39 .LM3875 Gainclone .
I did try it with a test speaker and unfortunately the DC voltage was still present (at 24V or so) Page 40 . In my test.Building Instructions After we connect the dummy load.LM3875 Gainclone . it does not happen right away though. the DC offset drops down to 75mV. but takes approx a second or so for the voltage to drop.
LM3875 Gainclone . Page 41 .Building Instructions With positive rail disconnected and no load the DC offset is approx 7V.
With a negative supply disconnected.Building Instructions With test speaker connected. the voltage drops immediately down to 70mV and there is no danger whatsoever to the speaker. I couldn't eliminate DC offset with my test speaker. that there is no danger to the speakers when one rail disappears. however. That Blaupunkt car speaker took 24V for at least 4 seconds many times over and still didn't suffer any damage Page 42 . it seems like this is only the case with the positive rail. although with a dummy load. the offset was going down indeed. The above findings are quite interesting and surprising.LM3875 Gainclone . It was reported few times on a forum.
I did the same test today with amp in a proper size chassis. Those heatsinks are definitely not suitable for 4ohm loads under full power. The heatsink with power resistors (used as load) was close to 50deg in temp. Initially. I measured the output voltage.LM3875 Gainclone . as the heatsinks warm up (and it happens really fast). the power colapses down to 10W or so. after half an hour the power dropped to 37W (12. A single channel was driven with 100Hz sine wave into 4ohm dummy load.5V.Building Instructions Originally posted by Peter Daniel I do the same test for 4ohm load (8 resistors in parallel) and initially we can see 56W power output with rails going down even further to 29.2 RMS voltage across the 4 ohm load). the amp was producing 46W. The sine wave was still reasonably clean and the chassis only moderately warm. However. Page 43 . The peak power should be much higher though. We can conclude that the amp with 2 x 22V AC transformer will produce approx 40W into both 8 ohm and 4ohm loads (as measured). Just before clipping.
LM3875 Gainclone .Building Instructions Page 44 .
Page 45 .Building Instructions Quote: Originally posted by rfenergy What is your take on using/not using a Ci cap on your boards to control DC offset? Would a potted resistor work to to decrease DC offset? and if yes . especially with amp connected directly to preamp stage with low impedance buffered output. what would you use and where would it go in the signal chain? In real life. but you might not want go too low with it. I don't see a way to adjust offset with a trimpot. I often measure chips for offset and it's quite possible to select them for less than 5mV offset in a given configuration. That's why I prefer not to use it. Ci cap is in a signal path. In a minimized GC circuit. the offset is quite low. Lowering the input resistance will decrease the offset.LM3875 Gainclone . and it will influence the sound basically same way as input coupling cap.
LM3875 Gainclone .Building Instructions Here're the DC offset values measured in a batch of 40 chips: top number at 0R. bottom at 15K input impedance Re: parts Page 46 .
Building Instructions Originally posted by CFT 1) Noticed your suggestion on the value of snubber is 0.7 uF BG NP would be a better choice than for instance.. The only other cap that I prefer is teflon V-Cap.000 uF Panasonic TS that I already have on hand? (There is another set out there with value of 1ohm/ 100nF.000 uF FC. I expressed my views on snubbers here: http://www. BG N is sensitive to orientation.3nF. 3 BG N 4. Page 47 .com/forums/showt.7/50 (or 10/50) is my first choice for coupling applications.1ohm/ 3. is there any merit if I also use them right near each chip? 3) For I/P cap.000 uF caps will be shared by three chips. I wondered if 4. Could I use it on the 22.diyaudio. Since I have some extra 1. I chose long pin for output. Panasonic polypropelene or Auricap.? 1 The use of snubber with chipamps was introduced by CarlosFM and he changed suggested values few times.LM3875 Gainclone . do they both yield similar results?) 2) The 22.. etc. I'm not sure what would be the difference between those two sets of values.981#post838981 2 You may try adding small caps directly at the chips and the overall effect can be only assessed when listening to both setups (with small caps and without).
they are big(5mm X 12MM).1k. gold plated is supplied instead. just mount them hanging in the air trying to reduce leads length. would these be ok for feedback resistors? Or do I need the 22. Originally posted by rfenergy I have some 330pf 50V polystyrene caps for RF blocking if needed.Building Instructions Originally posted by rfenergy I have some caddock MK132 22k resistors. I'm not familiar with Anteks. 400VA is proabably a better choice. All PCBs are blue now.1k resistor? Also I am thinking of ordered Antek brand 300VA 22+22 toroid transformers are these any good? Or should I get the 400VA 22+22 version? Caddock 22k would be the same as 22. You may even use 24k and it won't make any substantial difference. but they look good on pictures. How do you mount the between pins 7 and 8? If needed will the big size cause other problems? I don't think the big size will cause any problems. If there is not much difference in price. If I'm out of stock in tin plated. Page 48 .LM3875 Gainclone .
Building Instructions The attached graph shows powers output vs supply voltage for different loads. The amp will clip with 4ohm speakers when pushed hard. Based on that.LM3875 Gainclone . I didn't find any drawbacks with using 2 x 22V AC secondaries with 4 ohms either. so that value can be a good overall choice. and for 4 ohm speakers 2 x 18V AC transformer. but you will soon learn not to push it on certain recordings (I had 2 or 3 such disks that I had to be careful about) Page 49 . for 8 ohm speakers 2 x 22V AC transformer is recommended. In practice.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.